Mallow, 24th November 2015 – The Annual Delegates meeting of the Munster Branch of the Golfing Union of Ireland took place at Hibernian Hotel Mallow with all 88 affiliated golf clubs attending.
GUI Munster Branch Awards 2015
Munster Golf Club of the Year 2015 — Tramore Golf Club (Waterford), sponsored by Crystal Na Rinne, An Rinn, Dúgarbhán
Tramore Golf Club won the Munster Club of the year award, and this topped off a great year for the club who played host to the Irish Close Championship. The Club and the course came in for a large amount of praise for their hosting of the showpiece national event in August. Tramore is one of the longest established clubs in the country. In 2014 they secured the Irish Senior Cup for the second time, and the club has always been an enthusiastic competitor in the inter-club tournaments. The club has contributed many players and officials to representative and International Irish teams over the years and Tramore’s Michael Burns was a selector on the victorious Walker Cup team in September. The club has also been a great contributor to the administration of the game with many club members serving on the Munster Provincial Council and as Officers of the Munster Branch.
Munster Team of the Year 2015 — Dooks Mixed Foursomes Team (Kerry), sponsored by Keane's Jewellers
Dooks won the Team of Year award for their Mixed Foursomes team who finished the year as national winners. Despite the fact that golf has been played at the West Kerry course for close to 130 years, the club had a long wait to secure their first GUI Pennant. Not only did the mixed foursomes team secure a Munster pennant in August, they added a national pennant soon after when they won the All-Ireland final in early September. In addition to the excitement of having a winning team, Dooks also had the challenge of hosting both the provincial finals in August and the national finals. It may be a surprising fact that Dooks are the first club to win when hosting the provincial and national finals.
Not alone did Dooks wait for well over 125 years to acquire their first National GUI Pennant, but they overcame plenty of high quality teams along the way. In West Munster Dooks beat four clubs to advance to the Munster semi-final. When they hosted the provincial finals, they recorded wins over Skibbereen and Castletroy on their way to securing the blue pennant. Marshalled by team managers Mary Keane and Barry Harmon they advanced to the national finals where they beat Castlerea in the semi-final, and followed that with a final win over a strong Malahide team.
Munster Junior Golfer of the Year 2015 — John Murphy (Kinsale), sponsored by Keane's Jewellers
Kinsale’s John Murphy won the Junior Golf of the Year Award, following in the footsteps of the 2014 winner, his friend and club mate Cathal Butler. John had a very busy year, with the key highlights including a Munster final appearance in the Fred Daly Trophy Munster final, a win in the Kerry Boys, and a cap for Munster at the Boys Interprovincials. John was travelling almost every week during the summer, competing in all four Provincial Boys championships as well as several of the Youth championships. In the Boys events, he was runner-up in Ulster, 5th in Connacht and 7th in Leinster. He also took 4th place in Irish Boys Championship.
He took on the unique challenge that is the Kerry Boys in Ballybunion and came through the strokeplay and matchplay tests to add his name to the now famous trophy. John was part of the Kinsale Fred Daly team, he also played a big role for Kinsale Community School when they won the Munster Senior Schools Championship in Muskerry.
His strong individual and team performances earned him a place in the Munster team at the Boys Inter-Provincials in Athlone in July where he recorded a number of notable performances. Murphy finished 4th in the Boys Order of Merit and he was the leading Under 17 golfer, and he was recently named in the Irish Boys national panel.
Munster Golfer of the Year 2015 — Gary Hurley (West Waterford), sponsored by Keane's Jewellers
Gary Hurley picked up his second successive Munster Golfer of the Year award on the back of another year of very impressive performances. The highlight of course was his performance in the winning GB&I Walker Cup team, but his competitive year started back in January when he travelled to South Africa and was runner-up on the SA Amateur Open. A top twenty finish in the Lytham Trophy was followed by several notable team competitions. He secured a second appearance for the European Team at the Palmer Cup and represented Ireland at the European Team Championships. Partnered by Paul Dunne, the pair were unbeaten as Ireland made it through to the top eight. In September Gary was a member of the victorious GB&I Walker Cup team, winning both of his matches on Sunday and helping GB&I to regain the title.
Gary was runner-up in the European Individual Championship in Slovakia, and claimed his second silver medal having finished in the runner up spot again in 2014. He was one of four Golfing Union of Ireland representatives at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open in Royal County Down. In spite of his golfing commitments, Hurley also managed to complete his studies at Maynooth University. In September he made the decision to turn professional having achieved all of the personal goals he had set for himself for 2015.
Chairman of the Munster Branch John Moloughney opened the meeting and thanked everyone involved with the Branch over the year for all of their help and assistance. He started his report to the meeting by paying a warm tribute to Munster Branch Treasurer Michael J Murphy (Tramore) who passed away in February. Michael was Treasurer of the Munster Branch since 2012. The Chairman acknowledged Michael’s hard work at club, provincial and national level which spanned over 40 years. He also paid tribute to former GUI President, Jack Lynch. Like Michael, Jack too served his province and country in several roles, and was a very proud member of Limerick and Ballybunion golf clubs.
He reported that unlike previous years the weather had little impact on the golfing programme, and he thanked all the clubs that hosted provincial events. He congratulated all of the provincial winners and especially Thurles, Ballybunion and Dooks on their national success. He was delighted with the new format for the South of Ireland Championship. He congratulated Stuart Grehan (Tullamore) on his win and congratulated everyone involved with the prestigious event. He thanked all those involved with the four inter-provincial teams, along with Fred Twomey (Provincial Coach). He thanked the Championship Committee under the direction of Liam Harkin, and the support of Karen Walsh and Margaret Sugrue.
He acknowledged the issues related to the GOLFnet website and hoped that the issues were now resolved and that upcoming workshops would assist clubs. He wished Pat Finn well in his role as the new CEO of the Golfing Union of Ireland, this is a strategic role that will shape the way that the game is governed in the coming years.
He acknowledged the role of the CGI in promoting recruitment and retention strategies for golf clubs and he encouraged club to participate in the seminars. He thanked all of the clubs that he visited during the year for the courtesy they displayed, and he looked forward to working with clubs over the coming year.
Hon Sececretary’s Report
Honorary Secretary Jim Long gave a very comprehensive report of the year’s golfing activities and gave details of several high points including the success of clubs and individuals at national level.
He congratulated all of the winners and he congratulated Dooks on their successful staging of the Mixed Foursomes national finals.
He noted the fact that six Munster golfers were selected for the Irish Representative teams during the year: Robin Dawson (Faithlegg) and Gary Hurley (West Waterford) at Mens, Cathal Butler (Kinsale) at Boys and Tom Cleary (Cork), John Mitchell (Tramore) and Arthur Pierse (Tipperary) at Seniors.
He gave delegates some information on the strategic review being undertaken by the GUI, the review will consider governance structures, the future direction of the Union and the means to do it.
This work should be completed in time for the GUI Annual General Meeting in February 2016. He too paid a warm tribute to Michael J Murphy, highlighting the impact of the tireless work he had put in to junior golf, both in the province and nationally. He thanked his fellow Officers: John Moloughney, Peter English and Liam Harkin, the Provincial Council Members, the Branch staff, and also the many clubs who provided their courses to run provincial competitions during the year.
Honorary Treasurer Peter English reported that golf clubs continue to have difficulty in recruiting and retaining members. He commented that clubs in the province suffered from a 21% drop in membership over the past five years, a net loss of 7,400 members. Nationally the loss was over 45,000 (26%) members over the same period. Junior membership remains constant at 5,000.
The accounts for the year showed a loss of €22,212 for the year, this was attributed to a number of areas, including an increase in coaching costs of €18,000, with some of this relating to accruals from previous years. Additional costs were incurred due to the fact that there are now four representative Munster teams, and coaching for these teams now extends to 160 golfers.
Savings were achieved in the running of Cups & Shields, and also from a root and branch review of non-essential costs. As a result of a forecasted deficit of €10,000 for the year ahead, the Council proposed a motion to increase the provincial subscription by €2 to €8, effective from 2017. The Treasurer reminded club that grants for junior coaching are still available and encouraged all clubs to participate in the scheme.
Hon Match Secretary’s Report
Liam Harkin (Honorary Match Secretary) presented his report, starting with the AIG Cups and Shields. He outlined some changes to the scheduling of competition weekends stating that in many cases the host club had the use of their course for a half day on Saturday or Sunday, and that this proved to be a positive development.
He informed the meeting that a number of late withdrawals again disrupted the schedules and asked clubs to be reasoned with their entries for the year ahead.
He congratulated all of the provincial winners, and Ballybunion, Dooks and Thurles on their national success.
He advised the meeting that a new national competition, the All Ireland Club Fourball would take place in 2016. He was happy with the changes that took place in South of Ireland Championship, and this saw the status of the competition rise in the WAGR rankings.
He advised of further changes to the CONGU system and reported that a world handicapping system was in the offing, likely to be introduced in two years. He thanked his fellow officers, the handicap committee and Karen and Margaret for their hard work and co-operation during the year, and he also thanked all of the clubs who hosted events during the year.
A copy of the full text from all reports is available here
- Jennifer Hickey representing the Confederation of Golf in Ireland gave a comprehensive report on the activities of the CGI on a national and local basis over the past 12 months. She also gave an outline of the plans for 2016.
- Brian Punch gave an outline of the GUI strategic plan developments, and Pat Dunne gave an update on the changes that have taken place on handicapping system including important changes to the Annual Handicap Reviews. Reports were also presented from each of the inter-provincial teams and the Junior Convenor. East Cork Golf Club presented the Munster Branch with a trophy to honour the memory of former member and former Munster Branch Chairman Michael Cashman. The trophy will be awarded to the Munster winners of the new All-Ireland Club fourball competition.
Election of Officers
- John Moloughney (Templemore) was re-elected Chairman.
- Jim Long (Monkstown) was re-elected Honorary Secretary.
- Peter English (Limerick) was re-elected Honorary Treasurer.
- Liam Harkin (Muskerry) was re-elected as Honorary Match Secretary.
(All elected unopposed)
Election of Delegates to the Provincial Council (17)
Gordon Adair (Douglas), John Carroll (Bandon), Phil Cooney (Lee Valley), Michael Coote (Tralee), Tom Donnelly (Youghal), Pat Dunne (Roscrea), John Fennessy (Clonmel), Tom Keane (Ballybunion)*, Kevin Glynn (Lahinch), Barry Lynch (Raffeen Creek), Jim Lyne (Glengarriff), Kevin Murray (Tramore)*, Michael P Murphy (Newcastle West), Sean O’Leary (Mahon), Dave Prendergast (Cork)*, Brian Punch (Castletroy), Joe Rouine (Adare Manor)
*Indicates new nomination
Pat Nagle (Dooks)*, Patrick Turner (Muskerry)*, Michael Lawlor (Castleisland)*
Appointment of delegate to Central Council
John Carroll (Bandon)
Notices of Motion
1 Munster Provincial Council GUI
“It is proposed to increase the Munster Branch Levy from €6 to €8, to be invoiced November 2016 and payable 1st January 2017.”
Explanatory Note: This is separate to the GUI Subscription, which will be €16 (subject to ratification by Central Council), bringing the total Subscription and Provincial Levy to €24.
Honorary Treasurer Peter English gave a brief summary of the current and forecasted financial position of the Munster Branch. Revenue will decrease by c €22,000 due in part to the removal of the additional payment of 50c per golfer which the Union provided for the past five years. After a brief discussion and some contributions from delegates, the proposal was carried by a large majority.
1. Leinster Provincial Council GUI
To amend Tournament condition 3 (a) of the Fred Daly Trophy as follows:-
Each team shall consist of five members in both the Provincial and National sections.
Rationale: In order to encourage greater participation and to assist clubs in fielding teams. It is evident that there has been a decline in the numbers of clubs competing in recent years as they are unable to field a team of seven with the required standard. In addition, comparisons could be drawn with the Barton Shield and Senior Cup which are played off scratch but have smaller numbers on each team (four and five respectively) and which encourages greater participation.
A number of contributions were made from the floor, the majority of which were in favour of retaining the current number of participants (7). The Chairman stated that it was the opinion of the Council that the current conditions should remain, and that the Fred Daly Plate was available to clubs who struggled with numbers. The motion was put to the floor and it was rejected by a large majority.
2. Leinster Provincial Council GUI
To amend Tournament condition 3 (a) of the Fred Daly Trophy as follows:-
Each team shall consist of five members in the Provincial section and seven members in the National section.
Rationale: In order to maintain and encourage participation at Provincial level and to provide experience to boys from the clubs who are developing their junior sections.
Following the discussion on the previous motion, the second motion was put to the floor and it was rejected by a large majority.
Edenmore Golf Club propose
That the following sub-clause be added to clause 14 of the Union Constitution: “A minimum of 12 months’ notice of the amount of any increase in the GUI Subscription and/or Provincial Levy as provided in sub Clauses 14.1 & 14.2 shall be given to Affiliated Golf Clubs, University Club, College Clubs and Associate Members.”
Edenmore Golf Club considers that most if not all clubs set and then subsequently collect from their members the GUI Subscription and Provincial Levy in readiness to make payment to the GUI in January of the following year. This follows the production of an invoice for each club which is issued in November and is based upon on the number of home club members on Golfnet, as at 31 October in that year. In these difficult times when cash flow has to be closely managed, most, if not all clubs require sufficient notice of any change to either the GUI Subscription or the Provincial Levy to be able to invoice and then collect the appropriate fee from their members.
The motion was put to the floor and it was passed by a majority.
Any Other Business
Pat Dunne gave some further clarity and examples on the forthcoming changes in the CONGU handicapping system.
A question was raised from the floor on the validity of a college team winning the Irish Senior Cup. The Chairman accepted that colleges were becoming more competitive and told delegates that the clubs had the power to propose a motion to the Branch and Union to amend the current rules.
All clubs were requested to return an updated list of Club Officers to the Branch as soon as possible.